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According to allegations raised in a recent product liability lawsuit filed against DePuy Synthes, complications following a knee replacement failure were caused by defects associated with the DePuy Attune implant system.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Derrick Pearson in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on August 8, alleging that the DePuy Attune knee is defective and prone to failure.
Pearson indicates that the components were used during a right side total knee replacement surgery in March 2016. However, shortly thereafter, he began suffering severe and persistent pain, as well as difficulty walking.
By October 2016, the problems were so bad that his surgeon took radiographs and found loosening and debonding of the tibial tray. Pearson’s surgeon, Dr. Michael H. Huo at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, even noted that the failure was similar to problems he had begun to see in other Attune knee systems.
In May 2017, Pearson underwent revision surgery due to the DePuy knee replacement failure. Dr. Huo noted that the tibial tray was completely loose, and that it had to be removed by hand, without any instruments. The surgeon indicated that there was complete separation of the cement with the tray, noting that he had essentially the same findings in a series of other revisions involving the same components.
The DePuy Synthes Attune Knee system was approved by the FDA in 2010, and has been widely used by surgeons nationwide since early 2013. Amid aggressive marketing, the knee implant was quickly adopted by the medical commonuty, with about 400,000 DePuy Attune knees sold worldwide.
Although most DePuy Attune knee replacements were implanted within the past few years, a high failure rate has already begun to surface in post-marketing adverse event reports.
By June 2017, the FDA had already received about 1,400 reports involving DePuy Attune knee failure, including at least 633 cases where individuals have already required revision surgery.
Pearson’s claim raises allegations similar to those presented in other knee replacement lawsuits being pursued by individuals who have experienced problems with DePuy Attune implants in recent years. The primary reason for early failure is often cited as mechanical loosening, which is caused by the failure of the bond between the tibial baseplate and the implant-cement surface. The lawsuits indicate that when the loosening occurs, the artificial knee can detach from the existing bone, resulting in failure.
When the knee replacement loosens and fails, it can cause pain and wear away the bone. This can lead to restricted physical movement and severe pain, which continues until the pain becomes unbearable, or the device fails, resulting in a loss of knee function. At this time is when most decide to undergo revision surgery to have the implant removed.
Over the coming months, the number of DePuy Attune cases is expected to continue to grow as lawyers review claims for individuals who have experienced complications in recent years. In addition, some experts have suggested that the DePuy Attune knee failure rate may increase dramatically over time, as the devices are in place longer.